And we thought the foreclosure crisis was bad!

Fri, 2008-10-10 07:01Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

And we thought the foreclosure crisis was bad!

Environmental damage such as desertification or flooding caused by climate change could force millions of peoples from their homes in the next few decades, experts said.

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……the family of humanity’s global political economy.

Perhaps powerful people and huge human institutions are driving the relentless, soon to become patently unsustainable expansion of the global political economy, that in our time appears to be requiring unbridled increases of economic production/distribution capabilities, conspicuously unrestrained per-capita overconsumption of limited resources and the unregulated growth of absolute global human population numbers.

But why?

As we having been observing in recent years, another huge “bubble” has been consciously “manufactured” by economic powerbrokers and allowed to grow ominously and uneconomically within the world economy. Not unexpectedly, this sub prime bubble has done what bubbles eventually do. The subprime bubble burst. We can readily observe how the credit markets of the world banking system are frozen, stocks are tumbling and the value of the dollar is gyrating. Who knows, a meltdown of the human community’s financial system as well as damage to the real economy could be in the offing.

How could this be happening?

For a moment, let us consider that the organizers, managers and whiz kids overseeing the global economy (and the unraveling of the worldwide sub prime swindle) are running the artificially designed financial system of the global economy as a pyramid scheme. This is to say that the international financial system is being operated so that most of the wealth rises pyramidally into the hands of a small minority of people at the top of the world economy where this wealth is accumulated and consolidated endlessly. At the same time, the vast majority of people on Earth, near the bottom of the global economic pyramid, are left with very little wealth. In the 1980s, this method of arranging global business activities was called a “trickle down” economy. We have been told over and over again how this economic scheme “raises all ships.” And yet, from my limited scope of observation, the billion people living on resources valued at less than one dollar per day and the additional 2.7 billion people being sustained on two dollars per day of resources now appear to be stuck in squalid conditions. The ‘ships’ carrying these billions of less fortunate people among us do not appear to be lifting them out of poverty.

Could anything be done to beneficially change these unfair, inequitable and, in billions of instances, intolerable circumstances?

Of course, there is plenty to do. The global economy is undeniably a manmade construction. Because the world’s economy is an artificially designed product of human thought and action, our economic system is known to one and all to be imperfect. Afterall, human beings can better themselves and their imperfect products can be improved. Only works of God are perfect, I suppose. With this in mind, if it is so that the manmade economy is not a perfect construction, it is just as obvious that the global economy can be re-designed, modified and otherwise changed, as necessary. The system of economic globalization can be reorganized, “downsized” and “powered down” so that the global economy sustainably meets the primary needs of majority of people. In this way, the economy of the human community could be sensibly conceived, systematically operated and realistically structured for the conduct of sustainable business activities as well as for a more complete realization of the principles of democracy.

Simple. The economic system is chaotic. There is no one person or several people in charge of it trying to funnel wealth in their direction (that’s what governments are currently trying to do, and they may fail because the system is too complex too chaotic). What there is are people who are doing what they can to get as much of this wealth generation as they possibly can. If it were truly run like a clock the current meltdown would not have happened. The fact that trillions of dollars has evaporated, and if a small group of people hold that previous wealth, it stands to reason these rich people have lost those trillions. Something I’m sure they are not happy about.

As with all systems complex systems punctuated equilibrium controls everything. This is one of those punctuated events.

We have been told over and over again how this economic scheme “raises all ships.” And yet, from my limited scope of observation, the billion people living on resources valued at less than one dollar per day and the additional 2.7 billion people being sustained on two dollars per day of resources now appear to be stuck in squalid conditions. The ‘ships’ carrying these billions of less fortunate people among us do not appear to be lifting them out of poverty.

Then you are indeed limited. One only has to look at what life was like for humanity even 100 years ago to see the great increase in wealth for everyone that has happened because of our modern society. Even African peoples living in remote places have benefited. One only has to see the radios, TVs, music and even clothing these people wear to see that. This does not include the medical and farming advances that have come to those countries because of advancements in our countries. Thus the trickle down is happening and one would be hard pressed to find any group of people anywhere in the world that has not been affected by our wealth generation.

What we have done, however, is created a situation where we are at the mercy of our own successes. We have allowed the population to grow uncontrollably. Many reasons for this, but one can point directly to religion as the main culprit preventing birth control around the world. Birth control also brought to the world because of the advancements of our developed countries through science and technology.

the economy of the human community could be sensibly conceived, systematically operated and realistically structured for the conduct of sustainable business activities as well as for a more complete realization of the principles of democracy

Not possible in a democracy. The whole purpose of a democracy is freedom and rights to get as rich as you want without the state stealing it and redistributing it to those who do not deserve it. Yes, you only deserve the wealth you create. You are not entitled to any wealth anyone else creates save what they decide to donate, such as the Gates Foundation or Newman’s philanthropy.

Besides, it has already been tried in communist societies and has utterly failed. The only way for your system to work is to jail, or kill, those who oppose it for in a democratic society you will have people oppose your attempts.

Bottom line is the Utopia you wish for the planet, a sustainable society where everyone is equal and everyone lives in peace and prosperity, cannot exist. If you think things are bad now, just wait for when resources start to go into depletion. Today will look like the Utopia you wished for.

Thanks so much for your five missives directly above that reply to my recent ideas on what looks to me like a formidable global human predicament, one that is posed to the family of humanity, I suppose, by what appear to be soon to become patently unsustainable overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation behaviors of the human species on Earth.

Each of your missives is thought-provoking and helpful; they deserve careful responses. I am going to begin that process of responding to your comments, one by one in coming days. Please bear with me in this process and feel free to add additional comments as you like.

Sincerely,

Steve Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001
http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid+1176 www.panearth.org

JR Wakefield raises an important “equation” that should be part of any energy production. Still, there is no doubt that he is a detriment to this site.

What his figures do not take into account is the total lifetime output of typical alternate energy installations:
A typical wind turbine will last for at least 25 years, with no additional input of energy, whereas a coal-fired power plant needs continuous feeding of coal. That takes boths human energy and the energy in the coal. The energy in the wind [or sun, or waves, tides, etc] DOES NOT COST ONE CENT! That means his “Energy Returned on Energy Invested” equation would show alternate energy is much better!!!

Secondly, the economics are that the coal plant, or an oil well, brings profits within 3 to 5 years, but wind turbines takes longer to return a profit, but again, over the lifetime the profits from wind turbines are much, much greater. We are still thinking, and investing, in the short term - DUH!!

Can anyone here provide the figures for wind turbine returns, at for eg. 10cents per KwHr, times 25 years? THATS the total return, and it is much better than fossil fuels.

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